Defining Modern Marketing

Businesses live and die by something as essential as defining, and then implementing the term “marketing” within their business plan. Misunderstanding the term “marketing” or failing to grasp marketing’s role with respect to a business produces dire consequences for the ill-informed executive. Failing to have or implement proper marketing strategies for the buyer journey is the same as a business owner running his or her ship on the rocks because they chartered a business course without consulting a compass for direction. Ignorance is a fool’s best friend!

Old school textbooks defined marketing as the act of buying or selling in a market. In some cases, what worked 50 years ago still works today. For example, branding of a product like Coke has relied heavily on the product’s reputation for quality and the fact that it tastes good. However, we live in a fast-paced technological world. As technology created opportunities to engage and influence more buyers, this old school definition became lost. Marketing became more complicated.

Marketers started measuring success based on impressions and average rates. The formula was simple: bundle the right message to the right people at the right time. However, this formula was failing because prospects began to ignore preprocessed marketing messages that did not specifically speak to their immediate interests. Marketing key performance indicators were falling at an alarming rate. A new approach was necessary, and marketers responded by returning to their roots.


Before mass advertising, a business owner would pack up a buggy with all of their merchandise and head to the market. They found their little corner of the street and set up shop. Prospects would come and go. Each would be greeted individually, and presented with an authentic buying experience that was catered specifically to their interests.

In today’s age of communication, this approach to sales would fail due to the sheer number of prospect buyers patrolling our storefronts, websites, and social networks. Furthermore, buyers are now more apt to research their buying decisions without your influence. These circumstances have presented a new challenge to marketers. How can they approach their prospects with a unique and authentic message that speaks directly to their interests? When should they approach their buyers, and how can we influence their buying decisions when they are clearly ignoring our mass marketing message? Is hope lost for the modern marketer?

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